A pilot study of the effects of faculty status for medical librarians in the United States

Sa'ad Laws

Abstract


Objectives: Within many institutions, there are debates over whether medical librarians should be classified as faculty or professional staff, a distinction that may have considerable effect on the perception of librarians within their local institutions. This study is a pilot exploration of how faculty status may affect the professional experiences of academic medical librarians within their local institutions.

Methods: Surveys were sent to 209 medical librarians listed as having some instructional function at Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited medical institutions in the United States. Survey responses were captured using Qualtrics survey tool and analyzed for frequencies and associations using SPSS version 27.

Results: Sixty-four medical librarians at academic medical institutions completed the survey developed for this study. Of the respondents, 60.9% indicated that librarians at their institution have faculty status, while 71.9% believe that librarians at their institution should have faculty status. Ninety percent of librarians with faculty status reported that they are expected to generate scholarly materials, compared to 28% of those without faculty status.

Conclusions: Many medical libraries offer faculty status to librarians. While many medical librarians are active in instruction, research, and other activities normally associated with faculty status, it is not clear if faculty status impacts how librarians are perceived by other health care workers within their institutions.


Keywords


faculty status; medical librarians; faculty perceptions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2021.1138

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